kicad-developers team mailing list archive
Mailing list archive
Re: re: menus and AUI
I don't want to "publish" my idea as the best, and I know MS standards
are not (always or generally) the best. But for users familiar to
standard menus, kicad seems to be difficult to use and there is (for
most commands) only one GUI way to exec commands. This is a good thing
for advanced users (they will probably use shortcuts or command lines,
e.g. Blender), but a little difficult for novices.
When I wrote that other UI software I talked about, our philosophy was
that by having a single way of doing things, this made the user's search
space smaller, and would actually re-inforce remembering where something
is *and lead to quicker familiarization*. Any software is awkward for a
first time user, and documentation (online, offline, tooltips, or
context sensitive help) is important in overcoming the first time user's
Our other consideration was screen real estate. We did not want to
waste screen real estate duplicating more than one way of doing things,
just because Microsoft does.
There are "frequent users" and "occasional users", and each can benefit
from different things. Who is to be appealed to? Also the shear
*quantity* of command and operations will eventually dictate a certain
evolution as the need to organize things comes into play. Again, this
is the user's *search space*. Currently it is pretty small, so KISS
has been sufficient.
Remembering back when I first started using Kicad, quick access to the
documentation was the most difficult. The package could benefit from
better use of tooltips, and true context sensitive *searchable* help.
BTW, it seems the wxWidgets tooltip support does not work as well as it
should, so we are fighting that even if we don't know it. Also, the
wxWidgets support of context sensitive, searchable help may be limiting us.
Any proposal you offer would be received with an open mind. Because the
UI is something that we all encounter and use, I was thinking some
discussion on it is a good first path.
But we really don't have much to discuss until you offer a proposal in
I found a lot of
users that posted comments like "kicad is difficult to use" or "how to
exec this command" (e.g. autorouter), and this was the reason I posted
my first question. Conclusion: my special effort will be about snap-to-
pin facilities. However, i've already compiled some interface
changes... I think pane toolbars could be a good idea...
Advices well appreciated.